Cheers! It’s a long weekend and you’re preparing to use it to treat your liver to as much alcohol as it can accept, and then some more. Don’t. Drinking alcohol is the worst thing that you can do to your skin. It is a toxin with little nutrients and far too many hazards. It reduces the functional strength of your liver, your body's immunity and causes hormonal and cell damage. Alcohol being a diuretic, it dehydrates your body overall, including the skin, your body's largest organ. This happens every time you drink.  Everything that you ingest eventually impacts on the quality, appearance and the ageing process of your skin. Over time, this habit causes serious skin-related issues and dermal damage.
Dehydration
 

Dehydration

Alcohol is extremely dehydrating; it throws out all the water from your body. It also makes it more difficult for you to rehydrate afterwards, leaving you with dry, flaky skin. This leads to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The blemishes and dark spots will also soon be more visible, thanks to the lack of fluid in your skin. Staying poorly hydrated continually over a period of time can contribute to reduced kidney function, poor skin tone, reduced mental abilities, and joint and muscle aches.

Hormone disruption
 

Hormone disruption

The sugar levels in alcohol can trigger an insulin response and elevate your insulin levels. This can have a negative effect on your thyroid and sex hormones, causing hormonal imbalance that also leads to skin problems. For women, especially, it causes problems related to reproductive health.

Breakouts
 

Breakouts

Alcohol is high in sugar. If you're overindulging yourself too regularly, this will lead to spontaneous breakouts in your skin. The sugar levels in alcohol can cause glycation, a term literally meaning the ‘crystallising of your skin cells’. This leads to less plump and less supple cells, as well as to a dull complexion.

Puffiness
 

Puffiness

Alcohol has an inflammatory effect on your skin and body. You might not really realize it if you are a regular drinker but recollect the burn in your throat the first time you sipped on alcohol. You might get immune to this sensation but it is still causing considerable harm to your body, destroying the inner epithelial linings of your gut. This leads to redness of skin and puffiness.

Microbiota disturbance
 

Microbiota disturbance

A microbiota is an ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms found in and on your body. Microbiota has been found to be the cause for the immunologic, hormonal and metabolic homeostasis of the host i.e. you. The microbiome help to regulate our immune system, which is important for tackling inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. Drinking alcohol regularly can exhaust the healthy levels of your microbiota, reducing your immunity and making you more prone to skin problems.